Monday, May 18, 2009

Gaskins Weighs In--And He's Wrong

It is not a bit surprising that--days after the event--Roanoke Police Chief Joe Gaskins has finally weighed in on the arrest of the young performance artist on Roanoke City Market last week. Gaskins, as you'd expect, has sided with the cop (with the appropriately Germanic name Reinhold "Bill" Lucas) in an e-mail, according to a story in the Roanoke Free Press.

Gaskins quotes the law requiring a permit to gather a group, but does not mention common sense, humor, art, youth, image (this thing has been shown all over the world on the Internet and has made the TV news throughout the country--mostly as a joke with Roanoke as the butt) or anything else that this was about. It certainly was not about impeding traffic, which the cop cited, and if it had been, he might have cited himself since his fat ass covered more sidewalk than that of the young woman he arrested, 27-year-old Katherine Gwaltney.

I chatted briefly Friday with Mayor David Bowers and Councilwoman Gwen Mason about the incident and both seemed genuinely embarrassed by it. What they'll do about it (what they can do about it) is another matter.

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